Alliance comments on early years vaccination confusion

Commenting, Neil Leitch, chief executive of the Early Years Alliance, said:

"It is heartbreaking to see such disappointment in the sector following false reports that the early years workforce was eligible for the coronavirus vaccine. Unfortunately, when self-referral opened to social care workers, many practitioners were incorrectly told they could book, even through official channels such as the 119 helpline or their local council.

"Still more confusing for staff in the sector was that different policies were adopted by local vaccination centres, some of which honoured pre-booked appointments, while others initially administered jabs before later reversing this decision.

"Throughout the pandemic, the early years workforce has walked an impossible tightrope between doing their utmost to care for and educate young children who cannot socially distance, and protecting themselves, their colleagues and their own, sometimes vulnerable, families. Their readiness to book these appointments, which they did in good faith, is a mark of just how concerned they are for their own and their loved ones’ safety.  

"The sector does not need false hope or mixed messages. It deserves a real assurance from this government that they will be given priority access to the vaccine, at the earliest possible moment, so they can carry out their vital roles without fear."